California Governor Gavin Newsom is declaring a state of emergency for water strapped Mendocino and Sonoma counties.
Speaking from a dry lake bed, Newsom said the order provides money, eases government regulations and provides the muscle of state water experts. The Governor was quick to note other counties will likely be added to this state of emergency as drought conditions worsen. Mendocino and Sonoma county are rich wine growing regions and Newsom says his May budget revision is going to include more money for drought stricken communities. Last month Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsak issued a disaster declaration in 50-counties because of drought conditions.
The state steps include promoting conservation, accelerating funding for water supply improvements and offering technical assistance to monitor drinking water wells.